Saturday, April 5, 2014

What Is Going On Up In Here?

As you know, the fam has a new puppy.  Love our Allie.  She's so precious & just a mess.  Tomorrow will be two weeks since Als came to the fam.  It's just a crazy life with a puppy.  Love it, but as I wrote in my last posting, I'm just glad it won't last forever.  Of course she already has several nicknames; everyone in our fam has nicknames.  Allie's are:  Allie Cat, Als & Allie Girl.  Harry calls her Dumbness.  It's to match Bella's nickname of Stupid.  (Harry's friends call Bella Stupid too. :/)

But my oh my, what is going on up in here???

Because of the puppy, Bella (the Chihuahua) has become the neediest older dog.  We've had to move her food bowl into our bathroom because Allie will gobble her food down & then muscle B out of the way to eat her food.  So, Bella now eats in my bathroom & will not eat unless someone is sitting there with her.  :/  Yeah, that's just what I have time for, to watch the 5 1/2 year old eat her food...slowly.

What is going on up in here???

When ever we call Allie, Bella will come running.  You can't pet one dog without petting the other.  If you pet one too much the other gets more needy and they kinda get into a shoving match to see who can muscle their way for more affection.

What is going on up in here???

Allie will not go outside to the bathroom unless someone is walking the yard with her.  Especially in the middle of the night.  (I love being woken up in the middle of a deep sleep by a whining puppy or whining older dog.)  We have a fenced in backyard.  She is a lab.  Labs are supposed to love to run, chew on sticks, eat rocks and play in a fenced in backyard by themselves.  Not this lab.  She looks at me when I open the door & she waits for me to take the first step outside.  She loves the sofa & will grab your spot in a heartbeat.  

What is going on up in here???

I tell what is going on, my dogs are training me.  It didn't take too long really.  Just shy of two weeks.  I didn't even get any treats.  Oh well, I guess I'm considered part of the pack.  :)  We did turn a corner last Sunday in that Bella has for all intents and purposes accepted Allie.  She will chase and play with Allie on her own terms, and only growls and bites her on occasion.  Yes, that is a HUGE improvement.  B can be a grouchy old lady.

I can't wait to see what will be going on up in here this week!

Celebrating Life with my crazy puppies,
~ashley

On a side note, Miss Allie has learned her name; will sit and speak on command; has a few occasions, taken herself outside to use the bathroom if the door is open so she can roam in and out of the house; she will release things she is biting or chewing on upon command.  She will be 15 weeks old Tuesday & have to admit that I've been working really hard with her.      

Monday, March 31, 2014

Write It Down, I've Officially Lost My Mind

Well, I've done it.  I've officially gone & lost my cotton picking mind.  You know, my life is crazy.  (like every mom I know with multiple involved children.)  Crazy but manageable.  April is beyond it all.  Here's a sampling of April:  Relay for Life, Prom, Interviews for a friend, lacrosse games, practice, dance, dance tryouts, photo classes, an art show & I'm co-chair, Easter, college child's finals & move out by May 2nd.  Yeah, this month is going to be nuts without anything else thrown in, but with everyone's ages it is also easier.

Three kids still at home:  all can wake themselves up; shower; clothe; brush their own teeth; wipe their own bottoms; tie their own shoes; make their own lunches. I have one crazy chihuahua, almost 6.  Pretty much house broken.  She doesn't chew up underwear, socks or anything else any more.  It's good.  Well, it was.

I want to thank my brother & sister-in-law for introducing me to my new puppy, Allie.  Allison Magnolia to be exact, but Allie for short.  Yes, you read right, our fam now has a new puppy.  You know why God made puppies cute?  It is so when they poop on your floor, or chew up your underwear, or chew on your furniture you won't kill them.  And let me tell you, she is so precious.  I haven't slept in a week.  No really, I feel like I'm back in newborn baby phase.  Needy needy needy, this puppy is needy.  And I'm exhausted.  She sure is pretty though.  She is going to be HUGE.

Yesterday was 1 week that Allie has been in the fam & it was yesterday that Bella (the crazy chihuahua) finally accepted & actively played with her instead of trying to bite her head off.  I thought I was going to have to get B some doggie Xanax.  Maybe I need the Xanax....  This morning I took that crazy dog out 7 times by 7 am & you know what she did?  She pooped on my floor not once, but twice.  (insert HUGE eye roll & huff here)  Really? Really?!  Yes, I stood in the cold (it's cold at 5am) every 15-20 minutes so the dog would have an opportunity to not use my house as her piddle pad.  I don't want to be mean & put her back in her crate, but I will if I have to.  :/

Oh well, I'm going to Zumba.  Right now both dogs are outside in the beautiful sunshine & Allie is crying to get back in.  Someone needs to remind her she is a Lab & loves the outside.  Maybe I can do that tomorrow.

Celebrating Life & crazy puppies,
~ashley

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What the!?

By now from reading my blog you should know what kind of parent I am.  For those of you who are new, first off, welcome!  I'm so glad you stopped by, now don't be a stranger.  :)

***Please read disclaimer:  I believe that I am not a perfect parent.  I believe that I do not have perfect children.  The opinions stated below are just that, opinions.  Take from it what you will.

I parent "old school".  I believe in modeling what I expect of my children.  I believe in love and laughter and your word being your bond.  I believe in children having responsibilities from an early age.  I believe in setting boundaries for kids.  I believe in discipline; spanking if needed.  I believe that you show elders respect in word and deed.  I believe in building up children and having high expectations for them. I believe in giving children roots when they are young so when they are older they can spread their wings and fly.  All these things I mentioned, I believe, start the day your child is born.

Let me tell you, having well behaved children is no accident.  It is intentional & at times can be work.  And in case you are wondering, it doesn't get easier when they leave the nest.  That's when you pray that there is very little you forgot to tell/teach/model for them.  Where all this is leading is to an article I read online today about a New Jersey teen suing her parents.  You may wonder if the child was exploited or abused by her parents.   No.  Did her parents take things from her and make her fend for herself?  No. The child left home because "she didn't want to abide by the household rules, like being respectful, keeping a curfew & doing some chores."  What the!?

OMG, you know who she is don't you?  Veruca Salt!!!  But, just as the Oompa Loompa's sing in the old Willy Wonka movie, you know who is to blame:  the mother and the father.  By this father's own admission: "I'm a liberal, liberal parent."  You don't say?!  Really?  I couldn't have guessed.  This child would not last five minutes in my house.  My kids crack me up.  When they see a child acting inappropriately, anywhere, their eyes get really big; they shake their heads & say how the child wouldn't be able to handle our house.  It's true, but I think my kids rock, so at least I know I'm doing at least one thing right.

The first problem dad is that you are waiting until your child is 18 to try to enforce your household rules.  How's that turning out for ya'?  (See last sentence, first paragraph)  I'm glad, dad, you wished you had grown-up in a house with very little structure, but, you can see where it has lead now, right?  You now have an entitled, bratty, 18 year old diva.  No thank you!  Does the phrase "You reap what you sow" apply here.  I think so.

The worst of this is, now, if his daughter wins her court case, there is a president for other bratty children to have their parents bend to their every whim.  If the judge is wise, he/she will order that child to be punished for her juvenile behavior.  My momma would have lit her fanny up.  (actually she made us dance...to the tune of a switch.  You talk about imprinting on your psyche.  Ouch!)  Maybe that is what she needs.  Someone to say "I care enough about you to let you know that what you are doing is wrong".

Just for the record, I hate to discipline my kids.  I mean HATE IT!  It makes me sad when they don't listen, or don't do what they're told, or make unwise decisions.  I discipline them because I love them.  I discipline them because one day they will be out in the real world & they need to know how to be adults.  I love them too much to leave them to their own devices.

I pray wisdom prevails in this case, because the repercussions for years to come are unthinkable.

Celebrating Life & raising kids!
~ashley

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Life in the Fridge

A friend of mine called today & when we were swapping what we were up to, she mentioned she was cleaning out her refrigerator.  It made me think of my fridge & what a mess it is.  I really wish someone would come over & clean mine out.  I just opened my refrigerator a minute ago & yep it looks like I thought, a mess.

I'm not a fan of messes.  As a matter of fact, I would go as far to say that it is one of my pet peeves.  Just FYI, I've been peeved for a long time. ;)  No one else around here cares if the house is clean or clothes are folded & put in the proper place or for that matter if the fridge is clean.  Yep.  Just me.  All by myself, over here in 'I have to deal with everyone else's clutter because they can't seem to put anything where it belongsville'.  But I digress.

When I looked in my fridge today I realized it feels like my life to some degree.  It's crammed full of a little bit of everything.  Some of the stuff in there is leftover from days before; some of it makes life taste better; some stuff should have been thrown away a long time ago.  Oh yeah, it's also cold in my fridge & with this winter we've had I cannot get warm, even though we've had a warm up for a few days.  Hopson will come home to me cooking dinner with my heavy down jacket & a warm scarf over all my clothes.  Yes, it's a personal problem, but it's one I can't seem to fix.

I am going to clean out my fridge today.  I'm going to throw away stuff that needs to go & organize the things that can stay in a little longer.  If only life was as simple.  :)  It's all good though, everyone is healthy and we've started lacrosse season & spring is on its way.

Celebrating Life & simple things like a clean fridge!
~ashley

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Have Hands, Will Serve

That should be the new motto of my state & city.  I stand in utter amazement this morning as I read about all the acts of kindness.  Is there anything more humbling than being served by someone?

There have been pleas on FaceBook to rescue elderly grandparents, children, stranded motorists.  Churches opened their doors; neighbors opened their doors; businesses packed people in.  There were friends who abandoned their cars to start walking home last night, and stopped to rest at restaurants that were slammed with customers.  You know what they did?  They became servers!  How great is that?  (Kim & Jason)  Have hands, will serve.

This morning an alert went out that there was a good Samaritan that didn't make it home last night & he was not responding to calls or texts.  He is also diabetic.  Oh yeah, and it dropped down to 17 degrees last night.  SCARY!  You know what a group of people did?  They formed a search party. (Steve, Shelia, Mike, Marc, John & the W's)  Thank you Lord that I live in a community that cares.  They found him thankfully, alive.  They helped emergency responders carry him up a ravine and he is now in a local hospital.  Have hands, will serve.

Teachers...mother hens.  Reading books, giving snuggles, reading goodnight books.  Keeping middle school and high school kids entertained, safe and warm.  Many of them have children of their own that they couldn't be with because they couldn't leave their classroom kiddos.  From the bottom of this momma's heart, thank you.  (Connie, Carla, Jessica, Mark, Jennifer, Sally, Melinda...just to name a few)

To all the guys with 4 wheel drive trucks helping others, you rock!  (Hopson, Steve, Mike to name a few)  Have 4WD, will serve.

There are days I'm glad I can multitask.  I may not be out in the ice & snow, but if  you need help I can hook you up with someone who can rescue you.  I can give you a warm safe place to stay & a hot home-cooked meal or two or three.  It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 12:11-20.  It doesn't matter how small you think your role is, it makes a difference.  God gets all the glory anyway, so who am I to say my small part isn't important?  Have hands, will serve.

To all of you out there who have hands & have served.  You are my heros!  I love being a southerner.

Celebrating Life & the love of servants,
~ashley

     

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's a Terrible, Horrible, Amazingly Blessed Kinda Day

The snow had just started.
Snow, it is the four letter word here in Alabama.  It sends fear into the heart of every mother.  Last night they predicted that we would get just a dusting.  Um, they messed up our forecast by just a bit.  Our favorite weatherman in town has called it a "horrible forcasting error".  We received around 2 inches, and it hit fast.

My totally precious
Zumba instructor, Kaitlin.
Now, if you are reading this in a state that gets a lot of snow, I know you're laughing.  You know what, I would be too.  What you need to realize is that we don't get a lot of snow.  We are in the deep south.  We do summer really well, not snow.  As a matter of fact, after Christmas, I would be so totally ok if spring would come.  I am done with winter.

Here's the Terrible, Horrible...

The snow hit so fast that within 30 minutes you couldn't drive on the roads.  At this point in time (around 10:30 this morning) the schools had not be let out, because they were still saying it was going to "just be a dusting".

There's the family truckster left in the
middle of the road...crazy Hummer driver
to the right.
Oh yeah, it's really hilly where I live.  Frozen roads + hills + very few with 4WD = sliding cars & wrecks.  I had to abandon my car on a hill.  I just parked on the road because I had started slipping.  There was a lady in front of me that ended up getting pushed into the 'ole family truckster as she was trying to get pulled up the hill by a car with 4 wheel drive.  Hey thanks for that.  How about you just leave it.  There are hundreds of people that did.  I was almost hit by a Hummer that was sliding in circles down the hill.  Boy was he fighting it though.  Then I look up & another car hit a tree.  It was CrAZy out there today!  I hope my insurance agent has his pencil sharpened and ready to go.  YIKES!



Now for the amazingly blessed...

One of the MANY pileups we saw.
First off, I need to give a shoutout to my friend, Martha D.  After I had to abandon my car, I walked to Martha's house & begged for sanctuary.  Martha is the kind of person who is happiest when her home is full of people.  We were texting & calling trying to figure out about all our people.  Mamma Bear to ya'.

There are a lot of teachers who are staying at their schools because there are parents who could not get to their children.  God bless them for taking care of those sweet kiddos.  Many of these teachers have children of their own that they will not be able to be with tonight.  I have not heard one of them complain.  Many are posting about how much they love the kids in their schools.  How blessed am I to have such great educators teaching my children?

There are many children who are bunking at friend's homes.  Parents are stuck at work because the roads are impassible.  Some are still stuck in their cars because the roads are icy and there are wrecks everywhere.
There were boys out pushing people's cars up a hill because the wheels were spinning.  There were people standing outside in the freezing weather to warn drivers that roads were totally blocked with wrecked cars.  There were people handing out water to people walking home after they had to abandon their cars.

A local sandwich shop was handing out sandwiches and drinks to people who were walking home in the freezing weather.  A local grocery store was giving out food and drinks to people who were coming in to warm up.  People with 4WD trucks were helping parents get children, carting walkers where they needed to go, and what ever else was needed to serve our little village.

You know, those good Samaritans out there helping people were not doing it because they had to.  They were doing it because it's what we do in our town.  You need help, all you have to do is ask.  It's pressure that makes coal into a diamond.  I saw quite a few diamonds today.  :)

To all those out there helping people, thank you, thank you, thank you!  You never know how blessed you are until you are at the mercy of your neighbors.  I have to say, I have some pretty rockin' neighbors.  Love my city!

Celebrating Life!
~ashley  


Friday, January 24, 2014

Have Trash Can, Will Use

I'm going to send you over to my sorority alumnae website for a blog posting I did for the new year.  It's called Just Throw It Away.

You better be careful if I get my trash can out, because I just might start purging a closet or two or three, or your room. :)

It's a short piece, but good to remember that sometimes it's good to clean things out so we can start something new.

Y'all have a great weekend of Celebrating Life,
~ashley